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Para Mysteries Radio with Teal Gray: Hypnosis: the Good, the Bad, & the Controversial!

Stage hypnosis. That's me in the red beret! (photo by Larry Snider)
Stage hypnosis. That’s me in the red beret! (photo by Larry Snider)

Para Mysteries Radio: What in the World?

It’s the first Thursday of the month, which means tonight I co-host Para Mysteries Radio with the talented and lovely Teal Gray! Teal shares my love for all things quirky, offbeat, and overlooked. We call our first Thursday shows “What in the World?” because we focus on all the wacky goodness that we come across both online and off.

Call in your questions & comments during the show by dialing: 1-618-421-4522

Listen Live and/or Chat with us During the Show:

I hope you’ll tune into our show tonight. You can listen by visiting this link and clicking the “Live Streaming – click here to listen!” button in the middle of the page towards the top. Our show airs live at 6:00 p.m. Texas time, which is 4:00 p.m. for the west coast, and 7:00 p.m. for the east coast.

If you listen live, feel free to call in (1-618-421-4522) to share your experiences and ask questions.You can also join us in out live chat room by going here: Listen Live and Chat During the Show.

If you miss tonight’s show, you can catch it later by visiting the same links!

Tui Snider co-hosts Para Mysteries Radio on the 1st Thurs of each month!
Tui Snider co-hosts Para Mysteries Radio with Teal Gray on the 1st Thurs of each month!

Tonight’s topic is Hypnosis: the Good, the Bad, & the Controversial!

What *is* Hypnosis?

There are a lot of definitions for hypnosis, here’s one:

“Hypnosis is simply a state of relaxed focus. It is a natural state. In fact, each of us enters such a state – sometimes called a trance state – at least twice a day: once when we are falling asleep, and once when we are waking up. That kind of fuzzy, timeless state between dreaming and awake is a trance state. When a nine-minute snooze-button seems to give you enough time to have an-hour long dream, that’s a trance state.”

The above quote came from the American Association of Professional Hypnotherapists: Hypnosis FAQs

Here’s another definition that I really like:

“Hypnosis is to consciousness what a telephoto lens is to a camera.” Dr. David Spiegel, MD

I found that definition in a fascinating article entitled “Tranceformation:” David Spiegel on how hypnosis can change your brain’s perception of your body

Hypnosis: Natural, yet Mysterious

What fascinates me about hypnosis is that even though it is a natural part of human consciousness, aspects of it remain mysterious and misunderstood. After all, every time you watch TV, or get swept up in a good book, you have slipped into a type of hypnotic trance.

There’s nothing particularly scary about that!

It’s natural for us to hypnotize ourselves from time to time. I think it’s part of the “absent-minded professor syndrome” that so many creative types are prone to. When I’m deep into a writing project, for instance, I definitely go into a type of trance!

What about you? Are there particular tasks you do that put you into a hypnotic trance?

Hypnosis: The Good

In a clinical setting, hypnosis can help people with all sorts of things. Here are just a few articles I found citing therapeutic uses for hypnotism:

People Use Hypnotism to Quit Smoking
Using Hypnosis for Anesthesia – woman sings through thyroid surgery
Professional Hypnotherapist Uses Trance for Anesthesia During Hand Surgery
Weight Loss through Faux Bariatric Surgery via Hypnotism
Treating Post Partum Depression with Hypnosis

What do you think of all that? Would you ever opt for hypnosis and local anesthetic instead of going under general anesthesia? Or perhaps you have already tried this. Let us know by calling in to share your experience, leaving a comment in the chat room, or if you missed the show leave a comment on this blog post.

What I love about the weight loss link above is that the patients were hypnotized into thinking they had bariatric surgery! I wonder what other surgeries could be done via hypnosis rather than the scalpel?

Hypnosis: The Bad

So much for the good side of hypnotism; now it’s time to look at the bad: I’m sorry to report that I’ve come across a few disturbing news items.

Ohio Divorce Lawyer Allegedly Hypnotizes Client for Sexual Purposes
Hypnotist in Washington State Allegedly Assaults Woman During Session
Student Molested by Hypnotherapist in England
Canadian Hypnotherapist Unable to Waken Students from Trance

Hypnosis: The Controversial

If the allegations mentioned in the links I share above are true, then something isn’t adding up! For one thing, I had always, always, always read that you could not be hypnotized against your will. If that is true, then how do you explain the abuse cases I just listed above? What do you think?

This hypnotherapist claims that people are hypnotized against their will much more often than they realize:

the Dangers of Hypnosis

Find out if You Can Be Hypnotized by Someone Else

So… are you curious how hypnotizable you may be by someone else? Here’s a quick quiz I found at the National Guild of Hypnotists website that tells you the answer:

Can You Be Hypnotized?

My Experience with Stage Hypnosis

My husband and I took a transatlantic cruise once, and one of the on board entertainers was a professional hypnotist who used audience members for his stage show.  I’d seen stage hypnosis featured on TV shows, but this was the first time I’d ever seen one in person. I was a little scared, but I volunteered anyway!

It was fun, but I’m not convinced that I was truly hypnotized. The man next to me, however, was in such a deep trance that the hypnotist chose him to do all sorts of goofy stunts.

When I spoke to him later, he said he was completely under and couldn’t remember a thing he had said or done during the show. There’s always the possibility that he was lying, of course, but he seemed quite sincere to me.

What are *your* thoughts on hypnosis?

Do you think people can be hypnotized against their will? Have you ever been professionally hypnotized? Do you practice self-hypnosis in your daily life?

Want to read more?

To read about more weird, offbeat, and overlooked places, check out my best selling travel guide: Unexpected Texas.
For ghost hunting hot spots, check out my best selling travel guide to haunted places: Paranormal Texas.
For a strange-but-true tale of Texas history, check out: The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber. Happy travels!

Hey, you! Want to come along for the ride?

For updates on my offbeat travels, books, & other fun stuff (such as postcards from the road!) subscribe to my author newsletter using the form below:

Tui Snider having fun on a Texas road trip!
Tui Snider having fun on a Texas road trip!

Tui Snider
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Published inBlog on Writing & LifeWhat in the World?

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